Stevenage fell to their first Sky Bet League Two defeat of the season against Lincoln as the visitors staged a second half comeback on Saturday afternoon.
In a wild game at the Lamex Stadium, Matty Godden put Boro ahead at the break before a second half which saw two red cards and most importantly, two goals for Lincoln City.
Darren Sarll named an unchanged squad and starting XI from last Saturday’s win at Cheltenham and Boro got off to a fast start, taking the game to Lincoln right from the off.
Matty Godden had the first chance of the game inside the opening minute, one-on-one against the final Imps defender but thwarted by a well-timed block.
Unsurprisingly it was Godden and Newton who was casuing the most threat during the early exchanges, both of them trying to run the Lincoln defenders into the ground. Godden again had a decent sight of goal on 8 minutes as he fired his shot from distance into the stands.
Billy Knott provided the Imps’ first chance of the game – a dipping effort 20 yards out which never really threatened the goal.
The game then went into standby for about 10 minutes as neither side were able to impose themselves on the contest. That was, until Matty Godden finally had his say.
After Smith played him in-behind the defence, Stevenage’s star striker kept his cool as he drove towards goal before firing into the bottom corner, a trademark run, finish and celebration from last season’s top goal scorer.
Stevenage was eager to find a second and peppered the Lincoln goal within the next five minutes.
First up Whelpdale saw his back-post header comfortably collected by Farman in goal, before a flurry of Stevenage chances came and went.
After a wicked ball was whipped into the box, Beautyman could hardly believe it when his diving header crashed off the post. The rebound came out to Godden whose shot was cleared off the line but still Lincoln couldn’t get out. Imps goalkeeper Paul Farman needing to get down to stop Smith’s deflected effort from finding the bottom corner.
Joe Martin was forced off with injury on 35 minutes, young Kevin Toner coming on his place and the Imps were to go on and have their best spell of the half.
Anderson and Waterfall both found the wrong side of the post in the final minutes of the half and thanks to some resilient defending, Boro’s lead remained in-tact at half-time.
The half got off to a bizarre start as two false-starts after persistent encroaching earned Matt Green a booking before the second half whistle had even been blown.
A matter of minutes later, Green was off. The striker showing dissent following a Stevenage free-kick - surely one of the strangest sending off’s at the Lamex in recent years.
The red card only seemed to galvanise the visitors though as they soon levelled matters. Sean Raggett heading home from an Imps corner to make it 1-1 on the hour.
Ben Kennedy was soon introduced into the action and Danny Newton could have put Boro back ahead within inches of finding the net after a brilliant first touch inside the box allowed the striker to hit it first time across goal, skewed just wide.
As the game entered the final 20 minutes, Boro began to reassert themselves on the game, desperate for a winning goal.
Despite that, Lincoln remained a threat - particularly from set-pieces - and had their chance to go ahead soon after as the referee award the visitors a penalty. Whelpdale handling the ball after a free-kick caused confusion inside the box.
Ollie Palmer did the rest, sending Fryer the wrong way and the Imps were leading 2-1.
Stevenage continued to look for a route back into the game but soon found themselves down to 10 men too. Wilkinson sent off after an altercation with Luke Waterfall over by the East Terrace.
Late chances for Matty Godden and Fraser Franks went begging for Boro and Lincoln held on to come away with the win.
It is a short turnaroud as the boys are back at home on Tuesday Night. Purchase your tickets ahead of the game and save some cash on your ticket prices.